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tv   U.S. Senate  CSPAN  March 20, 2013 9:00am-12:00pm EDT

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idea of a single competitive force of funding for local enterprise. i fullly endorse the -- make the most of our apprenticeship. we have the second largest arrow industry in the world. we export more cars than import, and ouring ag business at the global cutting peg. -- we have 1.6 billion of long-term funding for the industrial that my friend the business secretary launched this week. and today we build on a new tax release coming in the years for the creative industries like high end television and animation with new support for our world class visual effect. to help small firms increase. spend through the small business research initiative. we will fund the proposal po make growth available to small
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firms seeking advice on how to expand. and putting new control on what regulators can charge by giving a new requirement to have a -- growth perspective of employers. mr. deputy speaker, a vital sector for our economy and the cost of doing business is energy. creating a low carbon economy is done by create jobs rather than -- was a major step forward for new nuclear. today with help of we are also announcing our intelligence to take two projects to the next stage of development will support the manufacture of mission vessels in britain with new takes incentive and the honorable members has urged do you passionately and in a nonpartisan way about the damage of doing the famous ceramic
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industry and persuaded me we will exempt from next year the industrial processes for the industry and others from the climate change. [cheering and applause] [laughter] >> for the we will this year sign contracts for the commissioning relief, the expectations of which is already increasing investment. i want britain to tap to new sources of local energy like shale gas. i'm introducing a tax -- including a shale gas field allowance to promote early investment.
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shale gas is part of the future and we'll make it happen. we can help companies grow and succeed by wilding infrastructure, backing the local, and supporting successful sectors. of any major economy in the world. that is what the government set out to achieve. that's what is what we're dr delivering. they did a survey that ranks the most competitive tax regime in the world. three years ago we were near the bottom of the table. now we're at the top. in the global rate, we cannot stand still. today we step up the pace, our enterprise investment team offering generous -- they have done a great job help progress mote it around the country. they asked me to extend the holiday,ly i will. we're make our new employee
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shareholders more generous with income tax relief and increasing -- of business to the employees. company that look after employees and help them return to work will get new help through the tax system too. and we're going trouble to 120,000 pounds the size of the loans that employers can get for tax free to say for season ticketers for commuters. it's a great idea for the honorable friend and i'm happy to put in practice. my honorable friend and others, have put forward proposals to help investment in social -- enterprises. i listened and we will release a new tax to encourage private investment. research and development is absolutely central to britain's economic future. so today i'm increasing the rate of the above line rd credit to 10%. along with the corporation tax rate on profits from pallet tons
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coming in next month it's the internationally attractive places 0 innovate. i want brit britain to be the place where people raise money and invest. it's about more than aboutbacking. we have a world antimanagement industry. they are losing business to other places in europe. we act now with a package of measures to reverse the decline and abolish the 19 tax which is only payable by u.k. many medium sized firms and start-ups use the alternative investment market to raise funds to grow. many observers claim -- complain it's been unbiased over equity investment. i'm abolishing on shares strayeded on -- traded on growth market. in part of europe within they are introducing a financial transaction tax. here in brit britain, regetting rid of one.
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and until next year it will directly benefit medium sized u.k. firms lowering the cost to capital. and supporting jobs across the u.k. mr. deputy speaker, we set out to compete with the world in our headline rate and corporation tax in germany the corporate tax rate is 29%. in france it's 33%. in the united states it's 40%. here in brit tan we have cut it from the 28% we inherited to 21%. >> once again further today i want us to send a message to anyone who wants to invest here, create jobs here, that britain is open for business. [cheering and applause] so in april of 2015, we will reduce the may be rate of corporation tax by another 1%. britain will have a 20% rate of corporation business tax. the lowest business tax of any
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major economy in the world. it will be for jobs and growth. we have achieved in one parliament in the difficult times the largest reduction in the burden of corporation tax in our nation's history. we will achieve major simplification. we will abolish the complex marginal calculations between them and give britain a single rate of corporation tax for the first time since 1973. as we have previous reduction in the corporate tax rate, i do not intend to pass the benefit to the banking sector so i will offset this reduction by increasing the bank levee rate. bit -- britain is moving to low and gettive taxes. we should insist that business and people pay the taxes not
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evade them to. that's the right way to succeed in the global race. under labour we have the best of worse world. when the rate introduced tax revenue fell by billions of pounds as the wealthy paidless. that's the wrong way around. under this government the tax rates are more competitive and the wealthy pay more tax. that's the right way around. here is an inconvenient truth for the other side. in every year of this parliament, the rich will pay a greater proportion of income tax revenue than any one of the thirty years of the last labour government. and during those years, too many people were allowed to get away with aggressive tax avoidance of abuse, they bogsed they were paying less tax and the member opposite applauded them for it.
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we stopped that. that's what i call fair. today i'm unveiling one of the largest ever package of avoidance measures presented in a budget, details set out including agreemented with isle to bring in over a billion pounds of unpaid taxes. new rules to stop abuse of corporate tax, and offshore employment. that's another 2 billion pounds. this year we're giving britain the first ever generally abuse rule and we will name and shame promoters of tax avoidance scheme. my message to make a living telling others to avoid the taxes, this government is not going let you get away with it. this year we are leading international action on tax avoidance through the g8 and
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g20. we want the global rules governing the taxation of multinational firms. from the 1920s and made relevant to the global economy of the 21st century. it's the right and fair thing to do. mr. deputy speaker, a tax system where people and businesses pay what is expected of them is part of the >> you that holds the society together. so the expectations of those who work hard and play by the rules save for the future, and try to be independent of the state are not undermined by supported. so to the working parents struggling with cost of child care and the mother wondering whether it makes financial sense to get a job. we offer this, tax free child care. the plan set out yesterday, new tax free child care vouchers for working families, 20% of the first 6,000 pounds of your child care costs for each child. and increased child care support
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for those with low-income families on the credit. and for those to aspire to put aside money for the retirement. a simple flat rate pension assessable to everyone and worth 144 pounds a year. any one pound you save will be a pound you can keep. bringing forward the introduction of the new pension for 2016. helping the low paid, the self-employed and. s of women most of all. of course, if there's no longer the old state second pension. there's no longer anything to contract out of. for employees that means the same employer national insurance without the defined benefit scream. private sector employees can adjust the pension benefit to accommodate the extra cost, public sector employers have to observe the burden as always the case with tax changing. any spending review with the next parliament will take the
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3.3 billion pound cost in do account. public sector employees and the relatively small number of private sector employees and defined boast scheme will from 2016 pay more national insurance than they do today. so they will pay the same rates of national insurance as the rest of the working population, and in return they will get a larger state pension than before. for example, someone who is 40 years old when the single pension introduced and always been contracted out will pay an extra 6,000 pounds over the next working life and in return get an extra 24,000 pounds in the state pension over the course of row tiermt. that's a fair deal. we have also made clear tbhafer the extra 1.6 billion raised in employee insurance will not be kept by the treasury. mr. deputy speaker, there's another group of savers i want to talk about today.
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i'm proud to have been part of the government that is helped compensate the policy holders of that suffered a great injustice. we have not ebb extended -- before 1992. now we can. the heart of the we will make payments of 5,000 to those embedderly policy holders and make an extra 5,000 pounds available to those on the lowest income on pension credit. we're not going to because we are legally obliginged to. it's the right thing to do. helping with aspirations, also means helping those who want to keep their homes instead of selling it to pay off the cost of social care. that's what the new -- as andrew recommended if also comes in 2016, it will be a set to
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protect savings above 72,000 pounds and raise the threshold to the means test from over 23,000 found 118,000 pounds that year too. for decades, politicians talked of doing something to the savers and those who have to sell the home it to pay for care. nothing has been done until this week. and i want to do much more. unless we -- like the fire ambition within our nation, we are going to be outsmarted, outcompeted, and out purchased by others in the world who are prepared to work hard for the success than we are. the budget makes a new offer to our aspiration nation. what idol -- symbolizes that more than the desire to own your own home. the deposit demanded for a
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mortgage beyond the great majority that ask their parent for contribution. that's not just a blow to the most human of aspirations, it's a setback for social mobility and hard on the construction industry too. this budget proposes to put their right and put right in a traumatic way. help to buy has two exoantd. first, three and a half billion pounds of capital spending to shared equity loans. from the beginning of next month, we will offer an equity loan up to 120% of the value of the new built home to anyone looking to move up the housing ladder. you put down a 5% depositive it from the savings and the government will loan you a further 20%. the loan is interest free for the first five years. repaid with the home sold. previous help only available to those first time buyers and had
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family income 60,000 pounds. now help is available to all buyers of newly built homes on all incomeses. available to anyone looking to get on or move on the housing ladder. and the only constraint will be the homes can't be worth more than 600,000 pounds. this covers well over 90 percent of all homes. it's great deal for home buyers. a great support to builders. because it's a financial transsanction, the with tax and getting return it helps with the deficit. the second help to buy hasn't been seen before in the country. whep families whoment to mortgage for any home they are buying but cannot begin to afford the deposit. we offer a new mortgage guarantee. helping them to provide more mortgages to people who can't afford a big deposit. the guaranteed mortgages
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available to homeowners subject to the usual check on responsible lending. using the government balance sheet we will dramatically increase their availability. we have worked with some of the biggest mortgage lenders to get it right. and we're offering guarantees to support 130 billion pounds worth much mortgages. and will be available from the start of 2014 and run for three years and a future government need the -- policy committee if they want to extend it. help tow buy is a dramatic intervention to get the housing market moving for enoughly built housing. government will put up a fifth of the cost. and anyone affording a mortgage but not a big dpe deposit. it will help you buy your own home.
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in the bucket we also set out more plans for housing. plans to build 50,000 more affordable homes. plans to increase with the funds available for building for rent. and plans to extend the right tow -- right to buy. mr. deputy speaker, people have the aspiration to get more of what -- that's a aspiration for any chancellor to help with when economic times are tough and money is short. but we're doing the hard work to reduce current spending. we set out a tough package to raise money from tax avoiders with the -- budget question stick to the path of deficit reduction, and find wayses to help families. let me turn to duty. we inherited from the previous government that would have seen above inflation increases in every year.
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today and oil prices have risen again. family budgets are squeezed. i hear those who want me to do more to help them get by. my honorable friends have again spoken up -- and been joined by many other honorable friend. we have all listened to the people we represent. today i'm canceling the september -- all together. it will be cheaper not act the over the last two years the free the duty. focus that seven pound less every time you fill up. mr. deputy speaker, there's another duty ease can ladders we inherited from the previous government, the annual 2% above
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innovation increase in alcohol. we are looking at plans to stop the biggest discount of cheap alcohol and retailers. responsible drinkers should not pay the price for the problem solved. and the sad fact is we lost 10 sthowrks pubs in the u.k. over the last decade. many honorable members like the honorable friend and my honorable friend in particular has been a committee champion of the famous brewing industry that employed many of the constituents. i intend to maintain the planned right for alcohol duty with the exception of beer. whether he now scrap the beer duty ease can ladder all together. and instead of the rise in tax plans for the year by the privacy government i'm canceling it all together. that's the freeze people have
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been campaigning for. i'm going to go one step further and cut beer duty by 1 pence. we are taking penny. and expect it to be passed on -- [inaudible] all other duties will remain as previously announced. mr. deputy speaker, freezing and cutting beer duty will not transform the finance of any family. it helps a little to have some bills that respect going up. >> order. order. can i say to the back row and couple of people in the particular. they take place -- [inaudible] mr. deputy speaker, it helps a lot to be able to keep more of the money you earn before you
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pay tax on it. this government supports people who work hard and want to get. when we goat office the personal income taxes allows under 6.5,000 pounds. it will reach 9,440 pounds with the largest cash increase in the history. 24 million taxpayers will see the income tax bill cut by an extra 200 pounds over two million of the lowest paid will be taking out of tax all together. in this budget, the government reconfirms the commitment to raising the personal allowance to 10,000 pounds. in fact, we go one better. mr. deputy speaker, we said we would race the allowance to 10,000 pounds by the end of the parking lot element. today i will confirm we will get there next year. 2014, -- mr. deputy speaker, from 2014 there will be no
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income tax at all on the first 10,000 pounds of your salary salary. 10,000 pounds of tax free earning. that's 700 pounds less in tax for working families. almost 3 million of the lowest paid will pay no income tax at all. it is a historic achievement for the government and the hard working families across the country. mr. deputy speaker, i'm aware that the concept of a tax rate has caused problems for honorable members opposite. [laughter] first they introduce it before deciding to introduce was a mistake and to be abolished. then they decided that abolishing it was a mistake and they introduced it again. to put them out of the misery. we are going turn it to a zero pence ban. and don't have to worry about it anymore. every person paying the rate doubled now be paying no income
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tax at all. mr. deputy speaker, there's one final tax exchange i want to tell the house about. it's about jobs. aspiration is about living in a country where people with can get job and fulfill the dreams. it generates extra potential national insurance revenue. i want to put the revenue to good use. i want to support jobs and the small businesses that create them. i want to do it with a reforming tax cut. in fact it's the largest tax cut in this budget. the cost of employing people is burden on small firm. it's an barrier to taking an extra person on. to help create jobs i'm today creating the employment allowance. the employment allowance will work by taking the first 2,000 pounds of every company. it's a tax of jobs, it's worth
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up to 2,000 pounds for every business in the country, and it will mean the 450,000 small small businesses. one-third of all employers in the country will pay no jobs tax at all. instead of their own business, they are talking about the taking on the first employee a huge barrier will be removed. they hire someone on 22,000 pounds a year or four people on the minimum wage and pay no jobs tax. 98% of the benefit of the employment allowance will go to fme, it will become available in april of next year once the legislation has passed and also make it available to charities and community sports clubs. the last government answer to britain's economic problem to propose a tax on jobs.
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we start that and today the government is taking tax off jobs. a new employment allows us help smaw firm at 20% rate of corporation tax, a 10,000 pound-person allowance. major achievement delivered by the government in difficult times. we understand the way to restore the economic prosperity is energize the aspiration of the british people. if you want to own your own home and help with your child care bill, start your own business or give someone a job, if you want to save your retirement and leave your home and children, if you want to work hard, we are on your side. it's a budget. this is a budget that doesn't duck or nation's problems. it confronts them head on. it's a budget for an aspiration nation. it's a budget that wants to be
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prosperous and free. thank you. >> order gl. order! order! order. [inaudible] under the standing guard and 51. entitle must be decided without debate. will the chancellor of the exchequer move forwardly? >> i think that's . >> we'll leave the british house of commons at the point. chancellor's statement is available on our website at c-span video library to watch again in the entirety. check our schedule online for reair on the c-span networks.
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husband beth monroe dressed herself in the best and went to the prison where was being held. she met with madam lafayette and made her case to the public. and some stories saying next day she was released. it wasn't the next day. it was a couple much months. it pretty much kept her from going lead to her reals. >> in some ways she has her own cause. she works with the washington female orphan assign limb. that's somewhat modern having the cause she was involved in. she does work politics in her parlor in such a way as to help win the presidency for her husband. in her own way. or conversation with historians on elizabeth monroe now available on our website.
9:29 am ladies. other generations saying how do we adapt? how do we move? now we move forward in the fast-pace world. they are taking in stride. that's the reality of how regrew up. it's also brought us a sense of ease and adaptability. the ability to be resilient and the economic crisis, which wow has lead to incredible use on employment and incredible debt for young people. young people are optimistic about the long-term economic future because they see that in one year it could be totally circht. we saw how quickly it started, and question see how quickly it might go away. there's a sense that the other the grass is greener somewhere on the other side. we have an ability to know we'll get there. david burr seen on what drives me less than part of booktv this weekend on
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c-span2. the u.s. senate about to gavel in for the day. today lawmakers will continue working on a bill to fund the federal government through september. a series of votes expected later this morning to advance the measure. under the term of the latest anonymous consent agreement. they could be ready to vote on final passage of the cr tomorrow e morning. now the live coverage of the senate on c-span2. the chaplain: let us pray. eternal lord god, we are merely moving shadows and all our busy rushing has no purpose without you. rescue us from our frenetic pace and teach us to be still, as we deepen
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our relationship with you. bless our senators. give them enough challenges to keep them humble, enough hurt to keep them humane, and enough success to make them certain they are walking with you. renew their commitment to pray not only for those with whom they agree, but also for those with whom they disagree. hear our prayers, o lord, and give us your peace. we pray in your merciful name. amen. the presiding officer: please me in reciting the pledge of
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allegiance to the flag. i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. the presiding officer: the clerk will read a communication to the senate. the clerk: washington, d.c., march 20, 2013. to the senate: under the provisions of rule 1, paragraph 3, of the standing rules of the senate, i hereby appoint the honorable william m. cowan, a senator from the commonwealth of massachusetts, to perform the duties of the chair. signed: patrick j. leahy, president pro tempore. the presiding officer: under the previous order, the leadership time is reserved. under the previous order, the senate will resume consideration of h.r. 933, which the clerk will report. the clerk: calendar number 21,
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h.r. 933, an act making appropriations for the department of defense, the department of veterans affairs, and other departments and agencies for the fiscal year ending september 30, 2013, and for other purposes. the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. reid: following leader remarks, the senate will resume consideration of the continuing appropriations legislation. the time until 11:15 today will be divided and controlled equally between the two leaders or their designees. then at 11:15, there will be three roll call votes in relation to the continuing resolution -- toomey amendment, which is a 60-vote threshold, adoption of the mikulski-shelby-mikulski substitute amendment and cloture vote on h.r. 933, the underlying bill. mr. president, for the last few years, our republican colleagues have been hollering and yelling and screaming that the senate hasn't passed a budget. they have done so in spite of the fact that republicans in
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both chambers voted for the budget control act which sets spending levels for the last two years. it was a law. every reasonable political observer admits the budget control act which had the force of law was a budget, period, but no because it was -- it was not a resolution, it was a law, which is much stronger than any resolution we do here. they have yelled and screamed, as i've indicated. still, republicans pined for the days of the so-called regular order and the senate would vote on a budget resolution that would set spending priorities for the fiscal year. republicans, we were told, we heard, we saw, were desperate to have a budget debate, desperate. let's -- and had charts out here. they were desperate for an amendment. they wanted a vote-a-rama, and they had charts, speeches and
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demonstrations to prove it. they had, mr. president, press conference after press conference after press conference. they even had a calendar that they brought out here almost daily telling the days since the senate passed a budget resolution -- not a law which was already in effect but a resolution. i was amazed yesterday, i mean amazed, flabbergasted, stunned when republicans blocked attempts to begin debate on the budget resolution. in fact, the chairman of the -- i'm sorry. the ranking member of the budget committee said let's put it off for a while. let's wait until after easter. can you imagine that? the pennying for regular order and we have a chance to debate it, no, can't do that. can't do that. there was a chance and they weren't interested in doing it. my friend, the junior senator
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from kansas, objected to a request debating the budget unless we vote on his proposed amendment to his continuing resolution. he's concerned about air traffic towers in kansas because of these across-the-board cuts. i say to all my colleagues, i say to the senator from kansas, we are all concerned about the impact of these budget cuts. they are senseless and they are ridiculous, and we should do away with them. we have already cut $2.5 trillion from the debt. we can continue to do it but do it in a responsible, reasonable, not a meat cleaver way. mr. president, more than 100 families in nevada almost immediately are going to lose access to low-income housing because of sequester. i met the housing authority people yesterday. 100. oh, well, it's not such a big deal. it is if you're one of the 100.
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nationwide, 70,000 little boys and girls are going to lose their ability for head start. what is that? it, mr. president, has allowed them to get started in life. these cuts, i have only mentioned a few of them, are painful for millions of americans, and they're going to get worse. they are arbitrary. we're all concerned. the concern for the sequester isn't focused on the senate delegation from kansas. it's all over, but let's do something about it instead of whining about it. let's get rid of the thing. that's why the senate democratic budget actually reverses the sequester. that's one way of doing it. there are other ways. the policy outlined in senator murray's budget will save hundreds of thousands of jobs, safeguard communities by keeping police, air traffic controllers and meat inspectors on the job.
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reversing the sequester would alleviate senator moran's concern about air traffic controllers in kansas. but the senate can't debate a thoughtful way to replace sequester if republicans won't even let us debate our budget proposal. we know republicans and democrats won't agree on every aspect of the budget which sets priorities for how government spends money and how it saves money. republicans have one plan for medicare. their plan is to turn it into a voucher program to change medicare forever. we have another plan, democrats, to preserve and protect medicare for our children and our grandchildren. republicans have a plan for taxes. now, listen to this one, mr. president. lower taxes for the rich, let the middle class foot the bill. democrats have another. we believe the wealthiest individuals and corporations should contribute a little bit more to reduce the deficit, but pricingly, the american people intelligently agree with us.
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democrats, independents and republicans by almost a 60% margin. the only republicans in america who disagree are those who serve in congress. republicans have one plan to reduce the deficit, rely on harsh austerity that shortchange the elderly, veterans, middle class, poor and others. we have another, a balanced approach that couples smart spending cuts with new revenue from closing loopholes that benefit the wealthiest americans. we have our differences, and that's fine, but democrats are willing to discuss these differences. we're willing to debate the issues. let's debate the issues. the republicans have said for months, months let's debate the budget. why can't we debate the budget? because they won't let us. we're in a senseless, senseless 60 hours of doing nothing,
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nothing. the american people are on our side. this is a debate that we can win, but at least let's have the debate. would the chair announce the business of the day? the presiding officer: under the previous order, the time until 11:15 a.m. will be equally divided and controlled between the two leaders or their designees. who yields time? mr. reid: mr. president, we're not in a quorum call, are we? the presiding officer: we are not. mr. reid: okay.
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the presiding officer: the time will be divided equally if no one yields.
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the presiding officer: without objection. the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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quorum call:
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a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from kansas. mr. moran: thank you, mr. president. it seems like we have been in this position previously this week. i understand there is a quorum call and i would ask that the quorum call be lifted. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. moran: mr. president, thank you. i'd like to discuss with my colleagues here in the senate an amendment that i have offered to the continuing resolution that's now pending before the senate. it's amendment numbered 55. i've spoken about this issue on the floor previously this week, but want to reiterate the merits of this amendment and ask my colleagues for their support. amendment number 55 deals with this issue of air traffic control towers, and under the administration's plan in implementing sequestration, the plan is to close on april 7,
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just a few days from now, 173 air traffic control towers across the country. and the amendment that i'm offering avoids that, that the administration would no longer be able to do that. i believe they shouldn't for numerous reasons, but what we do in order to accomplish that is to transfer $50 million from two accounts, one dealer with research at the department of transportation and one dealing with unencumbered balances. and so this is an example of what we have talked about before about we can make better decisions than across-the-board cuts and in fact the amendment that i'm offering deals with an issue that is not even an across-the-board cut. in closing the contract towers, in eliminating the contract tower program, the administration is cutting that program 75%. now, sequestration is described to us as in most virks an
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across-the-board 5% cut. the amendment that i'm offering continues the 5% cut that would occur for the air traffic control tower program so that they would be treated just like other programs at the department of transportation and throughout government, that they are not singled out for elimination of a program result nag 75% reduction in that program's funding, not just the more minor 5%. and so the administration's decision to close contract towers is far from balanced, and in choosing this program, in my view, have taken the opportunity to really damage the safety and security of the flying public of americans. and i want to talk about that in a moment, but there was also the suggestion that this is a provincial argument on my part that it's something that i care specifically about, kansas and my home state. certainly not that there is
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anything wrong with caring about our home states. that's what we do here and it's part of our responsibility, but this is far from just being a kansas issue. in many states and members of the united states senate are more greatly affected by this -- this cut, this elimination than my home state, and in fact this amendment has the sponsorship of 26 republican and democrat cosponsors. more democrat senators here are cosponsors of this amendment than republican, but it's -- it's senators roberts, inhofe, blumenthal, blunt, johanns, kirk, manchin, hagan, klobuchar, baucus, tester, enzi, vitter, wyden, warner, ayotte, shaheen, risch, crapo, murphy, rockefeller and wicker. it doesn't sound very provincial to me. in fact, 42 states will have their air traffic control towers eliminated. this amendment is broadly supported by the aviation
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industry. if there is an aspect of this that is unique to kansas, it's we manufacture many general aviation aircraft. we are the air capital of the world, but this amendment, while being supported by the aircraft owners and pilots association, by the national business aviation association, by the national air transport association, is also supported by the american association of airport executives and the national association of air traffic controllers. again, not a very provincial amendment when sponsored by so many of my colleagues, affecting 40-some, 43 states of the united states and broadly supported by the aviation industry as a reasonable commonsense solution to a problem we face. and i have been adamant about bringing this amendment to the floor. i'm a member of the appropriations committee. i will have the opportunity -- in fact, i serve on the subcommittee that deals with the department of transportation. i should and hope to have the opportunity to deal with this
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and other issues related to the department of transportation in the normal appropriations process that hopefully will follow the passage of a budget. so i ought to be in a position to be helpful to the cause i believe in at a point later in time, but here's the problem. the air traffic control towers will close on april 7. we will never get to an appropriation process between now here at the end of march and april 7. so the appropriations committee and ultimately the senate, the united states house of representatives, the president, will never have the ability to restore a program that is gone april 7. so while i tried to put myself in a position to be helpful to the cause in the long run, there is no long run battle to be fought because the control towers are gone in just a matter of a few short days. so this amendment matters. this is my last opportunity.
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if and when cloture is invoked later today on the underlying bill, there is no opportunity for amendments to be considered. and so my colleagues who indicate to me so strongly that they support my amendment, this is the only opportunity we have to have success. the senate ought to work its will in making that determination. with the broad support of the industry, with the broad support of my colleagues here in the senate, one would think that this is an amendment that's at least worthy of a vote, and that's not been the case, and so it is important for me to again reiterate to my colleagues if you invoke cloture -- if you invoke cloture this afternoon or later this morning, if you invoke cloture, there is no other opportunity for -- for us to address this issue, this
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problem. and so let me again request the opportunity. i laid awake last night from 3:30 on trying to figure out what it is i could say to my colleagues to get their attention about why this was so important, and there is lots of things that can be said, and we have so little time before this is either a program that existed in the past and will no longer exist in the future and the consequences are so dramatic that i would again request my colleagues for their assistance in at least bringing the amendment to the floor so that the senate can make a decision yes or no about the merits of the -- of the amendment. this is about safety. if you'll excuse me just a moment mr. president -- there was an article in -- i just happened to read today in reading my clips from kansas. this isn't -- printed in kansas paper, but it's an a.p. story
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from chicago. and the article is entitled "trouble in the air." and here's what the a.p. reporter writes about the planned shutdown. the article says the planned shutdown of nearly 240 air traffic control towers across the country under federal budget cuts will strip away the extra layer of safety during takeoffs and landings leaving pilots to manage the most critical stages of flight on their own. airport directors and pilots say there's little doubt that the removal of the second pair of eyes on the ground increases the risk and will slow the progress that has been made in the u.s. air system being the safest in the world. it's not just private pilots in small planes who stand to be affected. again, i'm reading from the a.p. story. many of the airports in question are serviced by major airlines, and cuts could leave towers
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unmanned during overnight hours at some big-city airports such as chicago's midway and general mitchell airport in milwaukee. the plans have prompted airlines to review whether the changes might pose problems for commercial service that could mean canceling or rescheduling flights. without the help of controllers, risks go up exponentially said mark hannah, director of the abraham lincoln capital airport in springfield, illinois, which could see its tower closed. many of the aviation sectors are frustrated by the political brinksmanship in washington that has affected such a sensitive area of aviation. jim montman of the santa fe municipal airport which is on the list for closure, said the absence of controllers raised the risk of midair collisions or some sort of incident where somebody lands on the wrong runway.
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that critical link is gone. pilots are trained to watch for other aircraft and announce their position over the radio during approaches, landings and takeoffs. but past crashes, however, rare, have exposed weaknessness that system. on november 19, 1996, a 19-seat united express flight landing in quincy, illinois, collided with another twin-engine turbo prowp prawp that was taking off. they slammed into each other at the intersection of two runways, killing 14 people aboard the two planes. the national transportation safety board concluded the probable cause was a failure of the pilots in the outbound flight to monitor the radio frequence for air traffic and properly scan for other planes. if a tower was there, it's highly likely the accident would have been prevented, said hannah, who became director of the quincy airport two years after the crash. the 238 air traffic control facilities that could be closed
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were chosen because they are at airports less than 150,000 flight operations per year and they are located in every state. again, mr. president, the point of this amendment is not whether or not i find the right words to convince my colleagues to allow this amendment to come to a vote. and as much as i struggle through the morning hours trying to figure out what those might be, the real issue here is not about my words or about my personal success in getting this amendment considered but it is about the safety of americans. and i can't figure out why this amendment can't be made in order. broad support, republican, democrat, i've had many senators including very senior senators from the democrat side of our cliel aisle come to me and express mazement this amendment cannot be considered. i can't come up with an explanation. i don't know why this is the case. when i talk to every senator i've talked to about this amendment tells me they don't
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oppose it, it ought to be voted on, they support it. yet for some reason, the senate is incapable of agreeing to even a vote on an important and critical amendment that promotes the safety of the american people. i can only guess and it's always difficult to attribute motives but as i talk to my colleagues, the only explanation i ever get that has any semblance of truth is there is a point to be made here. by denying the amendment's passage, we prove that sequestration can't work, that we can't cut money from budgets. and, again, i didn't vote for sequestration so when the majority leader says this morning about the hatchet being taken to programs and it's all bad, i didn't vote for sequestration. i believe in the appropriations process that allows us to make these decisions to increase funding for something some things, decrease funding for other things, eliminate programs, and yet sequestration in my view has an effect upon
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all crams -- programs equally, whether they're valuable or invaluable, and we pretty treat them the same. i'm not here on the cause of sequestration but apparently there are those in this city, in washington, d.c., who want to make the point that if the air traffic control towers are eliminated, it will demonstrate, to republican senators, senators in general, to congress, to the american people there is no opportunity to cut budgets. and if people want to make that point and they can convince people that it's true, that there is no opportunity to eliminate $85,000,000,000.000000000 in spending, that's fine with me. that's what this place exists for, for us to have the debate about whether or not we can reduce spending, what our tax code ought to be, what the value is of government services and programs and how they ought to be funded. but if it's true that the reason that this amendment is not being considered is because we want to prove a point that there is no
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money to be cut, that sequestration is a bad idea, that reducing spending is always a bad idea, that we've got to raise taxes, if that's the-minute that's trying to be -- if that's the point trying to be made here in the process of denying this amendment's consideration, then it's a very dangerous way to try to prove a point. prove your point in the argument and debate about the merits of spending, about the merits of the program. prove your point in the appropriations committee in which we take testimony and hear from people about what's important to them, what priorities, what their needs are, what their wants are, what has value, what doesn't but don't try to make the political point about this topic by reducing the safety of people who fly in and out of communities across the country who, as the article said, reduces the nature of our air traveling safety from one of the best in the world to -- from the best in the world to something less than that. and so make the point. have the debate and argument about the value of sequestration, about the value of what money we spend and don't
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spend. but let's not try to prove the point by reducing the chances that the american people when they travel are safe and secure in our airways. you know, i don't know and i hope this is never the case, this may never -- this point may never be proven about the safety, but once there's an accident and somebody dies and a plane crashes, the question will always be, what if there had been an air traffic control tower there? what if we had left the program in place? and these communities that have these air traffic control towers have spent years in developing a plan to put them in place, have worked with the f.a.a. and the department of transportation over decades to bring their airports and airport safety, the flying safety to high standards. and an issue here is that this is going to disappear oversight. so you can be an airport manager, an airport authority, a member of an airport board anyplace in the country with 200-plus air traffic control towers and you've worked hard
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over years, decades, to get the standards in place and to have the air traffic control process at your airport and in one day, april 7, one night, the lights go off in the tower, they no longer exist, all the work that you have tried to accomplish on behalf of your community and those who fly in and out of your airport disappears in one stroke. and so, mr. president, i speak with a level of passion about this interest -- about this issue, for really the purpose of which i think we are here to do, to advance the common good of the american people. and it's not a provincial amendment, not something that just moran in kansas needs. there are many states much more affected by this. but the truth is every american, every person who flies will have less safety and security in the skies as a result of this issue, as a result of the decision made by the department of transportation to eliminate this program.
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and so, once again, mr. president, i intend to ask later in the morning when our leaders are on the floor for unanimous consent to bring this amendment forward before the time expires. and in my time in congress, i've only been in the senate a little more than two years, i've not been trying to be object strep are prus, i've -- object strep russ, i've not been difficult to work with, i believe in working out, i followed the rules. i did what people told me, find people who support the amendment, democrats and republicans and bring them together and the leader said earlier in the week, i guess it's now last week, earlier last week how we're going to go back to regular order, have amendments offered, i hope we can dispose of them quickly. we have an opportunity to do that with this amendment. it's not controversial, it's not partisan. it's about something that ought to be of importance to all americans and certainly to every
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senator. so, mr. president, later in the morning when the leaders are present i'll ask unanimous consent that we consider this amendment. i know that there's others who want to offer amendments. i see my colleagues from arkansas and missouri on the floor. they have an amendment, it's i think number 82 in which they want to offer the opportunity to address a problem in which they want to take money from one account and put it in another account in order to keep meat packing plants operational, that we have the meat inspectors 3re7b9 at the plants. that's an important issue, too, about the safety and security of americans, about the food safety. i hope flpts that no one -- i hope, mr. president, that no one objects to the amendment mr. pryor and mr. blunt offer this morning. that is another amendment similar in nature to deciding that we're smarter to spend money here than here. and so i would ask my colleagues as the pryor-blunt amendment comes before the floor, i would
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ask my colleagues just as i would ask them to grant unanimous consent, i hope no one objects to their request for unanimous consent that their amendment be considered. and i would ask that no one object to the amendment i intend to offer. i certainly will not object to the blunt-pryor amendment. i wish that it was leveraged to get my amendment considered but it's too dangerous to play that game. that's what we do in washington, d.c., is try to strike the deal and in this case when we strike that deal, we're leaving people behind whose lives are going to be adversely affected. and i certainly wouldn't stand in the way of the people who work in the meat packing industry and the consumers who consume meat products croats our country in the way of trietion to solve a problem that's clearly there and i hope their amendment receives unanimous consent and passes by this senate's will. and i would ask the same thing when the appropriate time comes, i will ask for the same thing on an amendment that is about the safety and security of the american people.
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i thank the president for his indulgence and his appearance of listening to me and i would note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call: quorum call:
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a senator: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from kansas. mr. moran: thank you. i would request the quorum call be lifted. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. moran: madam president, i would ask unanimous consent that the next quorum call be equally divided between the republicans and the democrats, the majority and the minority. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. moran: madam president, i
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notice the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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ms. ayotte: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from hall of fame. ms. ayotte: i suggest the absence of a quorum -- excuse me. i ask that the quorum call be rescinded. the presiding officer: without objection. ms. ayotte: thank you, madam president. madam president, i come to the floor today to talk about an amendment that i had to the continuing resolution. this is a continuing resolution on appropriations bills that are pending on the floor right now where we're spending over a trillion dollars, and i had filed an amendment, amendment number 127, that would have struck funding $380 million for a missile to nowhere. this is funding for a program called the medium extended air defense system, otherwise known as meads. we have already spent $3 billion on this system, yet we will never get a result that our army
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can use, that our military can use, and that's why it is a missile to nowhere. in fact, the chairman of the senate armed services committee, senator carl levin, has called the funding for this meads program, we feel strongly -- he said with regard to the committee, we feel strongly that it's a waste of money. and, in fact, in 2012, in the defense authorization, the senate armed services committee made very clear that this was going to be the last appropriation for this missile to nowhere, and in the 2013 defense authorization on a bipartisan basis, unanimously before the senate armed services committee, the committee voted to say no more money for a missile to nowhere. madam president, right now, our military is facing great challenges with sequestration. we have heard that from our
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military leaders. the difficult choices they are going to have to make to cut training for our troops, to cut needed flying hours, things that our troops absolutely need to be prepared and ready, equipment. i mean, we made an announcement that we were going to withdraw a carrier in the area where of course we're sending the wrong message to iran, but yet despite all of this, this appropriations bill, the continuing resolution that is on the floor with the appropriations bill attached to it, contains $380 million for a missile to nowhere for something that our military will never be able to use. why is it there? it's there because people are so worried about their parochial interests, that their state builds part of this, and also because apparently they want to provide employment to the germans and the italians because
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they're getting a substantial amount of this money yet we will never see anything that our troops can use from it. so my amendment was very straightforward, madam president. the amendment would do this: it would take the $380 million, it would strike it from the meads program and it would take the resources instead of spending the $380 million on the meads program, it would go to the operations and maintenance fund for our troops to be able to use the funds rather than for a missile to nowhere that they don't need and don't want, for real needs that they have on the ground, whether that is equipment that they need, training, and so it seems to me that we owe it to our troops to make sure that our taxpayer dollars don't continue to be wasted on funding a meads program that we will never get a result from. in fact, we've had large
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unanimous agreement on a bipartisan basis about striking this meads program. in fact, i mentioned the senate armed services committee has said we should prohibit funding for it. the house armed services committee did the same thing and said we should prohibit funding for it. the house defense appropriations subcommittee zeroed out funding for meads. and the only committee that contained -- that allocated funding for it was the senate appropriations subcommittee. talk about a waste of money. it is shocking to me, by the way, that this amendment makes so much sense, it has bipartisan support, and yet i can't get a vote on the floor of the united states senate to strike the money for this missile to nowhere and to apply the funds to where our troops need them so that they can actually use the funds to make sure that they have what they
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need to be prepared and so this to me is just appalling, that i'm being denied the right to offer this amendment, to bring it to the floor to let people vote on it at a time when we face great fiscal challenges, it is absolutely appalling to me that here in the united states senate we can't strike $380 million in funding for a missile to nowhere when we're almost $17 trillion in debt. and so, madam president, this is what's wrong with washington. it's really appalling that you cannot be in a position to get a vote that is germane on the floor of the united states senate to fund a program that the concerned veterans for america has said is wasteful, support my amendment, citizens against government waste agrees, supports my amendment, and i have bipartisan support for my amendment.
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in fact, senators begich and shaheen are cosponsors of my amendment. so this is not a partisan issue. this is about not wasting taxpayer dollars. and, tell you this is what's appalling to the american people that we cannot and we will not strike wasteful spending, we won't even get a vote here in the united states senate. i'm going to continue to fight to end the funding for this program and other wasteful spending programs to make sure that the money that we have and the taxpayer dollars, particularly in the pentagon and every area of government, go to what they are intended for for things our troops need and not a missile to nowhere where we are protecting apparently parochial interests people are worried about more than the overall fiscal state of the country. so, madam president, this is something that's been very disappointing to me. i think it's appalling that we wouldn't allow a vote on such a
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relevant, germane amendment on a bill that we're going to spend over a trillion dollars on. and i don't know why we continue to fund things like the missile to nowhere when there are real needs that our troops have and i know if i brought this amendment, was allowed to bring this amendment to the floor, it had bipartisan support in the past and i believe that both sides of the aisle don't want to spend money on a missile to nowhere, when there are real needs that our troops have. so with that, madam president, i appreciate the opportunity to speak on this issue on the floor today and i suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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quorum call:
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mr. mcconnell: are we in a quorum call? the presiding officer: the senator is correct. mr. mcconnell: i ask consent that further proceedings on the quorum call be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: madam president, it took four years to get a budget from the senate majority. four long years. well, as the days go by, it's become increasingly clear why it took so long. their budget is just so extreme and so unbalanced. that's why they are having such a hard time selling it to the american people, and why they have had to fall back on some tired talking points to defend it, claiming their budget would, for instance, grow the economy from the middle class out. that's a clever sound bite, but it doesn't describe the senate democratic budget at all. maybe a better way to put it is that the democratic budget would grow the bureaucracy from the pockets of the middle class out. that's because it would increase federal spending by almost
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two-thirds by imposing a massive tax hike that could cost the average middle-class family literally thousands. the democrats like to say that up to -- the up to $1.5 trillion tax increase authorized in their budget, the largest tax hike in american history, by the way, would be funded by closing loopholes for millionaires and billionaires, but the math simply doesn't add up. they will have to come up -- they will have to come after the middle class to fund this spending spree. and there is something else. the senate democrat budget wouldn't balance, ever. not in 2013, not in 2023, not in 3023, not ever. it wouldn't balance in any of our lifetimes. it wouldn't balance in the lifetimes of our children or our grandchildren. it simply would never balance. think about it. that means a child born today
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would grow up knowing nothing but massive deficits her entire life. that means trillions upon trillions in more debt in an economy that would never, ever reach its full potential. that's simply not right but it's what we get with the senate democratic plan. it's an extreme approach that's more than just fiscally reckless. it's deeply irresponsible. that's why so many middle-class families agree with republicans that we should be growing the economy, not the government. they know we need to control washington spending and balance the budget in order to kick start economic growth and to create american jobs. they are just so tired, tired of the obama economy. they are tired of the endless pivots to jobs that never result in the kind of sustained job creation we need. they are tired of the sluggish growth, of always looking to the future with anxiety, worrying
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whether medicare will even be there when they retire, and they are tired of the ideological d.c. democratic extremism that got us here. knee jerk solutions to almost every single problem -- massive overspending, steadfast opposition to reforms that would make government programs more efficient, effective and sustainable. so my friends across the aisle shouldn't be surprised their budget is getting such a rough ride. it contains up to $1.5 trillion in new taxes. this would be the largest tax hike in american history. it contains half a criminal more in spending, money that could be siphoned -- that will be siphoned out of the economy and into the hands of politicians and bureaucrats. it lacks meaningful reforms to save and strengthen medicare, allowing it to go bankrupt in just a few years. and it enshrines massive deficits into law, ensuring they will continue forever and ever without end.
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the senate democratic budget is nothing more than a rehash of the same tired politics that continue to pummel the middle class, so it's time to move beyond this failed extremist approach and try a new one. instead of expanding the power of the bureaucratic elite at the expense of hard-working taxpayers, i would urge washington to change course. let's focus on growing the economy, not the government. now, madam president, on a related matter, i'd also like to discuss obamacare for a moment. as i just stated, senate republicans want policies that grow the economy, not the government, yet obamacare is the law that grows the government and will slow our economy, an on saturday will mark the third anniversary of its passage into law. republicans have long warned that obamacare would have a devastating impact on our country. i have spoken about a hundred
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times on the senate floor against obamacare, and i have warned about its consequences -- increased premiums, lost jobs and higher taxes. in addition to increased premiums, lost jobs and higher taxes, unfortunately many of those things have already started happening. it's not just off in the future. it's already happening. and the federal government has only just begun implementing the law. instead of premiums going down $2,500 as president obama promised, they've actually gone up by about the same amount, $2,500. and congress' own nonpartisan budget experts tell us premiums will increase by $2,100 after more rules, more taxes and more mandates take effect. the federal reserve also came
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out with a report that confirmed something else americans already know -- obamacare is costing us jobs, costing us jobs. by some estimates, it could end up costing 800,000 jobs at a time when we desperately need more of them. members of the president's own party have begun sounding the alarm about the law's tax hikes, including its tax on medical devices. his union allies are concerned the law will make them less competitive, too. well, of course it will. perhaps some of the union bosses should have more thoroughly considered the well-being of their members before supporting obamacare's passage in the first place. and obamacare has already become a regulatory nightmare. i would just call the attention of my colleagues to this chart right here. this is the obamacare law, 2,700 pages in itself, but these are the regulations so far.
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seven feet tall, 20,000 obamacare regulations so far. now, the law itself was not small, 2,700 pages, but 20,000 new regulations, seven feet tall, and they are just getting started. this monster of a bill, as i indicated, was hundreds and hundreds of pages long itself, but that's absolutely nothing compared to the regulations that it has spawned. this more than seven-foot stack of paper right next to me, that's what has become known as the red tape tower, the red tape tower, 20,000 pages of obamacare regulations so far. it's nearly 20,000 pages worth of complexity, and that's just what the bureaucracy has dreamed up so far. and you can only imagine how much more is yet to come. do we really expect small
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businesses to be able to cope with all the rules in this tower? if you were a small business owner, how could you? would you even be able to read through all of them and figure out which one is applied to you? i doubt it. and i don't expect the average american to have much luck either. the administration released a draft of the obamacare application last week. that's to apply yourself. it's 21 pages long. unbelievable. if you like doing your taxes, you're going to love applying for the obamacare exchanges. so washington democrats may pop the champagne this sunday -- this saturday to celebrate the law's third anniversary, but more americans and small business owners will be reaching for an aspirin once they are forced to start navigating this bureaucratic nightmare. in my view, obamacare is a colossal mistake for our country. there is just no way to fix this
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thing. it needs to be pulled out by its roots, and we need to start all over. this bill needs to be repealed, and it needs to be replaced. not with another unreadable law or another 20,000 pages of regulations, but with commonsense reforms that actually lower health care costs, and anyone who thinks we have given up this fight is dead wrong. madam president, i yield the floor. ms. mikulski: madam president, i note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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ms. mikulski: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from maryland. ms. mikulski: i ask the call of the quorum be vacated. the presiding officer: without objection. ms. mikulski: madam president, in a few seconds i will be propounding a unanimous consent request. we were originally scheduled to have a vote, a series of votes at 11:15. we think we have a way of working out some of our concerns. if we just take a little bit of a breather and do the kind of
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negotiation based on the civility and common sense that we've been using during this deliberation. so therefore, madam president, i hereby ask unanimous consent that notwithstanding the previous order, all postcloture time be considered expired at 2:00 p.m. with the time until 2:00 p.m. with equally divided between the two leaders or their designees with all other provisions of the previous order remaining in effect. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection. ms. mikulski: thank you, madam president. now, i have ten unanimous consent requests for committees to meet during today's session for the senate. they have the approval of both the majority and the minority leaders. i therefore ask unanimous consent that these requests be agreed to and that these requests be printed into the record. the presiding officer: without objection. ms. mikulski: thank you very
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much, madam president. now, just to give everybody the lay of the land, it means that we are working through our legislative issues here, and at 2:00 we will then proceed to a series of votes, which will be announced in plenty of time for people to know what's happening. therefore, madam president, -- i ask unanimous consent that the quorum calls also be equally divided. the presiding officer: without objection. ms. mikulski: madam president, i thank the able floor staff for giving me advice. there are days when i feel like it's an opera and they're calling out the arias we need to sing. but we are moving, we are rlg really moving and i want to thank senator shelby for consulting with his side of the aisle.
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at 2:00 we're going to have a series of amendments and i think the senate will feel very solid about the direction we're going in. madam president, i yield the floor, note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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ms. ayotte: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from new hampshire. ms. ayotte: madam president, i ask that the quorum call be rescinded. the presiding officer: without objection. ms. ayotte: madam president, in a minute i'm going to call up an amendment that i have been
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speaking about on the floor over the last few days and essentially this would be an amendment to the bill that's pending before the senate right now with the continuing resolution and are appropriations bills that would strike $380 million of spending for a meads program, which is essentially a missile to nowhere, that our troops will never be able to use in theater and to transfer that money to the operations and maintenance funding for the troops so that we can make sure that their resources that they can use -- that there are resources that they can use to make sure they have what they need for the very best equipment and training, particularly in light of sequestration and what we're facing. so at this time, i know there is an agreement that's been trying to be worked out of i would hope that my amendment to be included in that agreement. so at this time i would ask unanimous consent to set aside the pending amendment so that i may call up my amendment,
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amendment 12. -- 127. the presiding officer: is there objection? mr. reid: i object. the presiding officer: objection is heard. ms. ayotte: thank you, madam president. mr. reid: before the senator leaves the floor, i have listened to her speeches, most of them. she has been very articulate. i appreciate how she feels. she has some democrats that agree with her, but the problem is, we have this problem that it's hard to arrive at a list of amendments. i appreciate her intensity, and certainly i don't in any way denigrate what she has been trying to do. but under the situation we find ourselves, i reluctantly objected. a senator: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from kansas. mr. moran: madam president, i, too, have an amendment that i've been attempting for a number of days to have made in order. this is the amendment that deals
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with the air traffic control tower. it's an amendment that very directly simply transfers money from two accounts that have lots of money in them -- the unencumbered balances at the department of transportation as well as a research fund -- and it transferred $50 million from those two accounts to the air traffic control program so that we can avert what at legality the department of transportation says -- at least the department of transportation says is necessary to eliminate that program, closing more than 170 air traffic control towers on april 7. i spoke earlier this morning. i intend to speak before the vote occurs, and i will not repeat myself at thi at this pon time, but i have outlined this morning and i hope my completion wer-- and i hope my completion l listening about the importance of this amendment to the safety of the traveling public. and the modest nature of what we're trying to accomplish here,
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the wide support from the groups oud the congress who are supportive of this amendment, and i would again ask that -- unanimous consent to amend the previous order and bring up my amendment. it's amendment number 55 and that 10 minutes be equally divided and we proceed immediately to a vote on that allot. the presiding officer: is there objection? mr. reid: i object. the presiding officer: objection is heard. mr. moran: thank you, madam president. mr. reid: i suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call: mr. reid: i believe the senator has a statement to make regarding a big event in montana, is that right? mr. baucus: that's correct. mr. baucus: madam president, i ask to speak as if in morning business. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. baucus: johnny woodening, the ten-time ncaa national
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championship of ucla once said, "the main ingredient of stardom is the rest of the team." it takes a little star power, a lot of teamwork to win 10 champ onships. but it takes something extra special to win big sky coach of the year award 20 times. that's the lady tkpwr* -- griz coach. he's got true grit, grew up north of the high line. i know the occupant of the chair knows where the high line is. that's up in northern montana. the high line across montana stretches from highway 2 over into north dakota. under coach seldick's leadership the lady grizz made it to the championship 20 times in the 32-year history. i also want to honor montana
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grizzlies men's basketball coach, coach continue -- tinkle leading the team to the second year in the row in the tournament. jordan gregory's free throws in the final seconds was icing on the kick that pulled the grizz ahead of that won the game. the grizz basketball teams have had many spectacular seasons. and congress, i might add, could learn a lesson or two on team work from the champions. both draw a long tradition of excellence, a long tradition of team work that makes montana proud. these teams have shown dedication to their schools, fans and their community as a rephrebg shun of their --
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reflection of their montana values. as both teams head to the ncaa tournament this week, i take this opportunity to congratulate each player on the roster, their coaching staff, the entire university of montana community for this terrific season. i join montanans in celebrating their team work in wishing them the best. go, grizz. madam president, i ask the names of the players and coaches be entered in the record. the presiding officer: without madam president, i yield the floor and suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: without objection. the clerk will call the roll.
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